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Conwll Unlvwalty Library 
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3 1924 028 838 682 






The Early 

History of Whitingham 

Hon. a. Augustine Butterfield 


The Vi«MONT Printing ConfANT 



The Early 

History of Whitingham 

COLUMBUS discovered some islands 
of America in 1492. When he first 
made known to Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella of Spain his discovery of land in the West, 
they were disposed to claim all the territories 
which might be found in that part of the world; 
the King of Portugal, however, informed them 
that he considered even the West Indies, as be- 
longing to his crown, inasmuch as his subjects 
had first visited the Azores. The question was at 
last submitted to the Pope, who gravely decided 
that Portugal should have all the lands and terri- 
tories that might be discovered within a thou- 
sand miles of Europe, and Spain all that should 
be discovered beyond; but neither England nor 
Holland nor even France was disposed to con- 
sent to this authoritative partition of the newly 
discovered regions of the West; and these powers 
subsequently took possession of different parts of 


North America, supporting their respective pre- 
tentions by long and bloody wars. The claims 
advanced by England were founded on the dis- 
coveries of John Cabot and his son Sabastian, 
Italian navigators residing in England, who 
were sent in quest of new countries, with an ex- 
pedition fitted out by the king, very soon after 
the discovery of the West Indies by Columbus. 
John discovered Newfoundland in 1494 and in 
1497 Sabastian coasted from the northeastern 
part of the Continent nearly to the Gulf of Mex- 
ico. The French laid claim to Nova Scotia, on 
the ground of its having been visited and taken 
possession of in the name of their king, thirty 
years afterward, by an Italian navigator in his 
service named Verranzano. The first settlement 
attempted by them was in 1540 which was un- 
successful. The Dutch claim to the country 
about the mouth and along the course of the 
Hudson River was founded on the discoveries 
made by Hendrick or Henry Hudson who 
while in the service of the King of England, ex- 
plored these regions in 1609. During this year 
and previous to the discoveries of Hudson, Sam- 


uel de Champlain went down the west side of 
the lake which bears his name and was the first 
white man to see the mountains of Vermont. In 
1620 the "Plymouth Council" was incorporated 
by King James I of England, and in that year 
the first Pilgrims came over and landed at 
Plymouth, Mass. Plymouth remained a sepa- 
rate colony until 1692, when it was united with 
"Massachusetts Bay." In 1628 the Plymouth 
Council granted the land between the Merri- 
mack and Charles Rivers and three miles north 
of the Merrimack and south of the Charles, and 
extending westerly to the "South Sea." Just 
where it was supposed that the South Sea was I 
cannot tell, but some writers call it the Pacific 
Ocean, and as the waters from these two rivers 
flowed into the Atlantic, of course on this theory 
they must flow from the Pacific Ocean. Mr. 
Endicott came over with three hundred persons 
to prepare for a still larger number and estab- 
lished themselves in Salem and Charlestown. At 
one time New Hampshire and Massachusetts 
were united under one governor, but in 1741 the 
line of separation, not having been previously 


ascertained, by order of the king in council it 
was to be run, beginning at a point three miles 
north of the mouth of the Merrimack and run- 
ning westerly in a similar curved line to the 
river and three miles northerly thereof until a 
point was reached three miles north of the great 
falls, thence due west until his Majestie's other 
provinces were reached. Much discussion has 
been had as to the "Great Falls" intended. Had 
the northern falls been taken, Brattleboro, Ben- 
nington and Whitingham would have belonged 
to Massachusetts. This survey was run by Rich- 
ard Hazen, and had he followed his orders — due 
west from the point he took north of Pawtucket 
Falls, Colerain and North Adams would have 
belonged to Vermont now — but Hazen, when at 
a point three miles north of Pawtucket Falls run 
a line west 10° north. Vermont at this time was 
an unknown wilderness, inhabited by savage 
beasts and still more savage Indians, except a 
fort or two had previously been builded, and a 
small settlement around each in the southeast 
part of the state, then supposed to be in Massa- 


chusetts, and along some streams, lakes and 
ponds where wild grass grew. 

In 1741 Benning Wentworth was appointed 
governor of the Province of New Hampshire. 
It must not be forgotten that England and 
France were ancient enemies and had frequent 
wars: these wars usually disturbed the peace of 
the American Colonies, as the French were then 
established in Canada. A war, known as King 
George's war began in 1744 and ended in 1748. 

In January, 1749, Governor Wentworth 
chartered a town six miles square in the territory 
now Vermont, in which he never had any right 
or authority whatever, and named it in honor of 
himself, Bennington: and the fees and emolu- 
ments were such that his cupidity was stirred. 
In 1750 he chartered Halifax, in 1751 Wilming- 
ton and his avarice was such that when he was 
stopped by the decision of the king in 1764 he 
had chartered somewhere 130 towns and this, 
too, in face of the claim of the governor of the 
Province of New York and his protest thereto. 

War was again declared by England against 
France in 1756, though in fact the English and 


French people in America had really begun the 
war in 1754. This war lasted until 1763, and is 
known as the French and Indian War, though 
sometimes one or two of the preceding wars 
were known by the same title and name. The 
formal treaty of peace was signed at Paris, Feb- 
ruary 10, 1763. During this and former wars 
incursions were made through this territory into 
Canada and the soil and timber became known 
to the people of Massachusetts, New Hampshire 
and Connecticut. As the army was disbanded 
there was no further need of many of the officers : 
these were reduced, and in October, 1763, the 
king in council ordered that ungranted lands 
be granted to these reduced officers. At some 
time, probably under the direction of New 
Hampshire the township of Cumberland had 
been surveyed, but we are unable to learn that 
any charter had ever been granted by that name 
or lands granted in that territory by that prov- 
ince. Many of these reduced officers petitioned 
to have their land set out there. A captain seems 
to have had three thousand acres, a first lieuten- 
ant two thousand and a second lieutenant one 


thousand. Some of these officers expressed anxi- 
ety to have their lands set out in Cumberland or 
elsewhere. We are told a large number asked 
for land in Cumberland. Nathan Whiting made 
his request as follows: 

"To THE Honorable Cadwallader Colden, 

Esq., his Majesty's Lieutenant Governor and 
Commander in Chief of the Province of New 
York and the Territories depending thereon in 

The Petition of Nathan Whiting late a cap- 
tain in one of his Majesty's Independent Com- 
panies of Foot 

Sheweth That your petitioner served in Amer- 
ica during the late war, and being entitled to 
the Bounty which his Majesty has been gra- 
ciously pleased by his Royal Proclamation of 
the 7th October, 1763, to extend to such reduced 
officers as have so served in America. 

Your Petitioner therefore prays his Majesty's 
grant to him and his Heirs of the quantity of 
three thousand acres of a certain Tract of Vacant 
land vested in the Crown lying on the west side 
of Connecticut River adjoining to the present 
Line between this Province and the Province 
of Massachusetts Bay and formerly laid out into 


a Township by the Province of New Hampshire 
by the Name of Cumberland Township, but 
which has been since vacated and the Land re- 
assumed, under the Restrictions prescribed by 
the said Royal Proclamation. And your Peti- 
tioner shall ever pray &c." 

N. Whiting." 

New York, Ilth June, 176^. 

Certificate of General Gage. 

"These are to certify to all to whom it May 
Concern, that Captain Nathan JVhiting, hath 
served in America during the war, Gf is now a 
reduced officer. 

Given under My Hand at Head Quarters in 
New York this 1 8th Day of April, 1 764. 

Thos. Gage." 

"11 June 

Petition of Capt. Nathan JVhiting for 
JOOO Acres of Land in pursuance of the 
King's Proclamation, 176^, July 8." 
Read in Council and Granted." 

Nathan Whiting also made another petition 
of the same date as the other as follows: — 

EsQR., his Majesty's Lieutenant Governor and 


Commander in Chief of the Province of New 
York and the territories depending thereon in 

The Petition of Nathan Whiting in behalf 
of himself and nine other persons humbly 

Sheweth That there is a Tract of Vacant un- 
patented Land Vested in the Crown lying on the 
west side of Connecticut River adjoining to the 
present Line between this Province and the 
Province of Massachusetts Bay and formerly 
laid out into a Township by the Province of 
New Hampshire by the name of Cumberland 
Township but which has since vacated and the 
Lands reassumed. That your Petitioners intend 
if they can obtain a Grant of Ten thousand acres 
of the said Tract of Land to make a speedy and 
eflfectual settlement thereon 

Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray 
that Your Honours will be favorably pleased by 
his Majesty's Letters Patent to grant to each of 
them respectively and to their respective Heirs 
and Assigns the Quantity of one thousand Acres 
of the Tract of land above described under the 
Quit Rent Provisions Limitations and Restric- 
tions prescribed by his Majesty's Instructions. 

And Your Petitioners will ever pray &c. 


New York, nth June, IjdS- 

N. Whiting in behalf of himself and the rest 
of his associates. 
"nth June, lydS- 

Petition of Nathan Whiting and nine 
others for I0,000 Acres of Land in the 
County of Albany No. Q Cumberland." 

It turned out that there was not 10,000 acres 
at that time ungranted, or voted to be granted, 
although the Council voted to grant this 10,000 
acres. The 3,000 acres and a patent afterward 
issued to Nathan Whiting on his personal peti- 
tion, in the southeast corner of the town 178 
chains north and south and 178 chains east and 
west, 2,000 acres were granted to James Edding- 
ton west of Whiting's patent — 178 chains north 
and south and 1 18 1/2 chains east and west, 2,000 
acres to Thomas Gamble west of Eddington of 
the same size and shape, 1,000 acres in the north- 
east corner of the town to Thomas Etherington 
59 chains north and south and 178 chains east 
and west, 2,000 acres south of the last above to 
John Nordburg 118 chains north and south and 


178 chains east and west, 3,000 acres to John 
Walker west of the two last named patents, 177 
chains north and south and 178 chains east and 
west, 2,000 acres to Dennis Carleton west of 
Capt. Walker's patent 169 1/2 chains north and 
south and 124 chains east and west. Some very 
reputable people have protested that these grants 
were not valid, notwithstanding this territory 
had been decreed to belong to New York in 1764, 
because of the king's prohibition of 1767; but 
all these lands had been petitioned for, the peti- 
tions presented to the Council, referred to a 
committee which had reported favorably and the 
Council had voted the patents, for all the land 
in this town before the king's prohibition 
reached here. 


On the 27th day of January, 1767, a petition 
was presented to the Lieutenant Governor of 
New York by Nathan Whiting, Samuel Fitch, 
Eleazer Fitch, James Smedley, David Baldwin, 
Andrew Myers, Samuel Whiting, Robert Alton, 
Amos Hitchcock and Nathan Haines Whiting 


for a grant of a township which was referred to 
a committee, who reported favorably and the 
petition was granted. The patent was ordered 
to issue but for some reason the matter was de- 
layed for nearly three years. On the 26th day 
of January, 1770, Col. Nathan Whiting renewed 
the petition in behalf of himself and his asso- 
ciates, setting forth that the lands prayed for 
were vacant and had never been granted. The 
following is the second petition of Col. Whiting 
and the one on which the grant was made and the 
patent issued. — Jillson's Green Leaves. 


To THE Honorable Cadwall.^er Colden, 

Esquire, his Majesty's Lieutenant Governor 
and Commander in Chief of the Province of 
New York and the territories depending thereon 
in America, 

In Council. 

The Petition of Colonel Nathan Whiting in 
behalf of himself and his Associates Humbly 

Shcweth That your petitioner and his Asso- 
ciates on their former petition obtained an order 
of his Excellency Sir Henry Moore with the ad- 


vice and consent of the Council bearing date the 
twenty-seventh day of January one thousand 
seven hundred and sixty-seven for granting to 
them and their heirs the Quantity of Ten thou- 
sand acres of a certain Tract of Land lying on 
the West side of Connecticut River known by the 
name of the Township of Cumberland. That 
they have since procured an actual survey of said 
Land and find the vacant Land to contain only 
the Quantity of Seven thousand acres. That the 
same though part of the Lands formerly claimed 
by the Government of New Hampshire have 
not been granted by that government but still 
remain Vacant and vested in the Crown. Your 
petitioner therefore humbly prays that the Let- 
ters Patent ordered on said former Petition May 
issue for the Quantity of Land found to be va- 
cant, and in the Names of Nathan Whiting, 
Samuel Fitch, Eleazer Fitch, James Smedley, 
Andrew Myers, Robert Aiton and Samuel Bo- 
yer, who are all the persons at present interested 
in the Premises. And your petitioner in behalf 
of himself and his Associates Doth further pray 
that the said Seven thousand acres together with 
the following Tracts granted to or Surveyed for 
reduced Officers, to wit: three thousand acres 
granted to the Petitioner Nathan Whiting, two 


thousand acres Granted to Lieutenant James 
Eddington, two thousand acres Granted to Lieu- 
tenant John Nordburg, one thousand acres 
Granted to Lieutenant Thomas Etherington, 
three thousand acres surveyed for Captain John 
Walker, two thousand acres surveyed for Lieu- 
tenant Thomas Gamble and two thousand acres 
surveyed for Lieutenant Dennis Carleton may be 
erected into a Township by the name of Whit- 
ingham with the usual privileges. And your 
petitioners as in Duty bound shall ever pray &c. 
New York, 26th January, 1770. 

NatH.AN Whiting in behalf of himself and 
his associates. 

A long certificate, of several pages, was made 
to this petition and signed Cadwallader Golden, 
Andrew Elliot and Alex Golden. Cadwallader 
Golden was Lieutenant Governor, Andrew El- 
liot Receiver General and Alexander Golden 
Surveyor General. 

The Charter of Whitingham. 

George the Third, by the Grace of God, of 
Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, De- 
fender of the Faith, and so forth. 


To all to Whom these Presents shall Come, 


Whereas our Loving subjects Nathan Whit- 
ing, Samuel Fitch, Eleazer Fitch, James Smed- 
ley, David Baldwin, Andrew Myers, Samuel 
Whiting, Robert Aiton, Amos Hitchcock and 
Nathan Haines Whiting by their humble Peti- 
tion presented unto our late trusty and well be- 
loved Sir Henry Moore, Baronet, then our Cap- 
tain General and Governor in Chief of our Prov- 
ince of New York and read in our Council for 
said Province on the twenty-seventh day of Jan- 
uary which was in the year of our Lord one thou- 
sand seven hundred and sixty-seven, did set forth 
among other Things that there was a certain 
Tract of vacant unpatented Land vested in us 
lying on the West side of Connecticut River, ad- 
joining to the present Line between our said 
Province and the Province of Massachusetts 
Bay, and commonly called or known by the name 
of Cumberland, and that the Petitioners did in- 
tend if they could obtain a grant of ten thousand 
acres thereof to make a speedy and effectual 
settlement thereon. And therefore the Petition- 
ers did humbly pray our said late Captain Gen- 
eral and Governor in Chief to grant to each of 
the petitioners and their respective heirs; the 


Quantity of one thousand acres of the said Tract 
of Land which Petition having been then re- 
ferred to a Committee of our Council for our 
said Province. Our said Council did afterwards 
on the same day in pursuance of the Report of 
the said Committee humblv advise and consent 
that our said late Captain General and Governor 
in Chief should by our Letters Patent unto the 
said Petitioners and their heirs the Quantity of 
ten thousand acres of Land described in their 
said Petition under the Quit Rent Provisoes 
Limitations and Restrictions prescribed by our 
Royal Instructions: 

And whereas the said Nathan Whiting in be- 
half of himself and his associates hath by his 
humble Petition presented to our trusty and well 
beloved Cadwallader Colden Esquire our Lieu- 
tenant Governor and Commander in Chief of 
our said Province and read in our said Council 
for our said Province on the thirty-first dav of 
January now last past, set forth, that the Peti- 
tioner and his associates had procured an actual 
survey of the Lands aforesaid and find the vacant 
Land to contain only the Quantity of seven thou- 
sand acres: 

That the same tho' part of the Lands formerly 
claimed by the Government of New Hampshire 


have not been granted by that Government but 
still remain vacant and vested in us: And there- 
fore the Petitioner did humbly pray that the 
Letters Patent ordered on the said former Peti- 
tion might issue for the Quantity of Land so 
found to be vacant, and in the Names of Nathan 
Whiting, Samuel Fitch, Eleazer Fitch, James 
Smedley, Andrew Myers, Robert Aiton, and 
Samuel Boyer, who are all the Persons at present 
interested in the said Lands, and further that the 
said seven thousand acres of Land together with 
the following Tracts (part of the aforesaid Tract 
called Cumberland) granted to or surveyed for 
reduced officers to wit: three thousand acres 
granted to the Petitioner Nathan Whiting, two 
thousand acres granted to Lieutenant James 
Eddington; two thousand acres granted to John 
Nordbergh ; one thousand acres granted to Lieu- 
tenant Thomas Etherington; three thousand 
acres surveyed for and since granted to Captain 
John Walker; tvvo thousand acres surveyed for 
and since granted to Lieutenant Thomas Gamble 
and two thousand acres surveyed for and since 
granted to Lieutenant Dennis Carleton, might 
be erected into a Township by the name of Whit- 
ingham with the usual privileges; on reading 
and due consideration whereof it was ordered 


by our said Lieutenant Governor and Com- 
mander in Chief with the advice and consent of 
our said Council that the Letters Patent ordered 
on the said former Petition should issue in the 
names of the said Nathan Whiting, Samuel 
Fitch, Eleazer Fitch, James Smedley, Andrew 
Myers, Robert Aiton and Samuel Boyer for the 
Quantity of the said Lands so found to be vacant, 
and that the same together with the several other 
Tracts above mentioned be erected into a Town- 
ship by the name of Whitingham with the usual 
privileges granted to other Townships within 
our said Province: In Pursuance whereof and in 
obedience to our said Royal Instructions, our 
Commissioners appointed for the setting out all 
Lands to be granted within our said Province 
have set out for them the said Nathan Whiting, 
Samuel Fitch, Eleazer Fitch, James Smedley, 
Andrew Myers, Robert Aiton and Samuel Bo- 
yer, all that certain Tract or Parcel of Land 
within our Province of New York, situate and 
being on the West side of Connecticut River in 
the County of Cumberland, being part of a 
larger Tract heretofore called and known by the 
name of Cumberland. Beginning at the north- 
east corner of a Tract of three thousand acres of 
Land granted to the said Nathan Whiting as a 


reduced officer; and runs thence along the North 
Bounds of the last mentioned Tract, and the 
North Bounds of a Tract of Land granted to 
Lieutenant James Eddington and the North 
Bounds of a Tract of Land granted to Lieutenant 
Thomas Gamble North eighty degrees West 
four hundred and fifteen chains, then South ten 
degrees West one hundred and seventy-eight 
chains to the Line run for the Bounds of the 
Massachusetts Bay Government; then along the 
said Line North eighty degrees West sixty-five 
chains; then North ten degrees East three hun- 
dren and ten chains and two rods to a Tract of 
two thousand acres of Land granted to Lieuten- 
ant Dennis Carleton; then along the South 
Bounds of the last mentioned Tract South eighty 
East one hundred and twenty-four chains to a 
Tract of three thousand acres of Land granted 
to Captain John Walker; then along the West 
Bounds of the last mentioned Tract South ten 
degrees West seven chains and two rods. Then 
along the South Bounds of the said last men- 
tioned Tract, and the South Bounds of a Tract 
of two thousand acres of Land granted to Lieu- 
tenant John Nordbergh, three hundred and fifty- 
six chains, then South ten degrees West one hun- 
dred and rwenty-five chains to the Place where 


this Tract first began, containing six thousand 
nine hundred acres of land and the usual allow- 
ances for highways: and in setting out the said 
Tract of six thousand nine hundred acres of 
Land our said Commissioners have had regard 
to profitable and unprofitable acres; and have 
taken care that Length thereof doth not extend 
along the Banks of any River otherwise than is 
conformable to our said Royal Instructions as by 
a certificate thereof under their hands, bearing 
date the first day of this Instant Month of 
March, and entered on Record in our Secre- 
tary's office for our said Province among other 
Things may more fully appear, which said Tract 
of Land set out as aforesaid according to our 
said Royal Instructions. We being willing to 
grant to the said Petitioners their heirs and as- 
signs forever. Know ye that of our especial 
Grace, certain knowledge and Meer Motion, we 
have given, granted, ratified and confirmed and 
Do by these Presents for us our heirs and suc- 
cessors give, grant, ratify and confirm unto them 
the said Nathan \\'hiting, Samuel Fitch, Eleazer 
Fitch, James Smedley, Andrew Mvers, Robert 
Aiton, and Samuel Boyer, their heirs and assigns 
forever, all that the Tract or Parcel of Land 
aforesaid, set out, abutted, bounded and de- 


scribed in Manner and Form as above men- 
tioned, together with all and singular the Tene- 
ments, Hereditaments, Emoluments and Appur- 
tenances thereunto belonging or appertaining. 
And also all our Estate, Right, Title, Interest, 
Possession, Claim and Demand whatsoever of in 
and to the same Lands and Premises and every 
Part and Parcel thereof: and the Reversion and 
Reversions, Remainder and Remainders, Rents, 
Issues and Profits thereof and of every Part and 
Parcel thereof. Except and always reserved out 
of this our present Grant unto us, our heirs and 
successors forever, all Mines of Gold and Silver, 
and also all White or other sorts of Pine Trees 
fit for Masts of the growth of twenty-four inches 
Diameter and upward at twelve inches from the 
Earth, for Masts for the Royal Navy of us, our 
heirs and successors. To have and to hold one 
full and equal seventh Part (the whole into 
seven equal Parts to be divided) of the said 
Tract or Parcel of Land, Tenements, Heredita- 
ments and Premises by these Presents granted, 
ratified and confirmed and every Part and Parcel 
thereof with their and every of their appurte- 
nances (except as is herein before excepted) 
unto each of them, our Grantees above Men- 
tioned, their heirs and assigns respectively to 


their only proper and separate use and Behoof 
respectively forever as Tenants in Common and 
not as joint Tenants. To be holden of us, our 
heirs and successors in fee and common socage 
as of our Manor of East Greenwich in our 
County of Kent within our Kingdom of Great 
Britain. Yielding, rendering and paying there- 
for yearly and every year forever unto us, our 
heirs and successors at our Custom House in our 
City of New York unto our or their Collector or 
Receiver General there for the Time being on 
the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed 
Virgin Mary commonly called Lady Day the 
yearly rent of two shillings and six pense Ster- 
ling for each and every hundred acres of the 
above granted Lands and so in Proportion for 
any lesser Quantity thereof saving and except 
for such Part of the said Lands allowed for 
Highways as above mentioned in Lieu and stead 
of all other Rents, Services, Dues, Duties and 
Demands whatsoever for the hereby granted 
Lands and Premises or any Part thereof. And 
we being Willing according to the Prayer of the 
said Petitioners to create and make the said 
Tract of Land hereby granted a Township with 
such other of the adjacent Lands as are included 
and comprehended within the Bounds and 


Limits following, that is to say. Beginning at a 
Hemlock Tree and a Beach Tree growing close 
together having two large stones laid between 
them, standing in the Line run for the Bounds of 
the Province of the Massachusetts Bay and 
which Beach Tree is marked with these words. 
The Corner of Cumberland, and runs thence 
North ten degrees East six Miles: then North 
eighty degrees West six Miles, then South ten 
degrees West six Miles to the aforesaid Line run 
for the Bounds of the Province of the Massa- 
chusetts Bay, and then along the said Line South 
ten degrees East six Miles to the said Place of 
beginning, and to grant to the Inhabitants of the 
same such Powers and Privileges as the Inhabi- 
tants of other Townships in our said Province 
of New York have and do enjoy: Know Ye 
therefore that of our especial Grace, certain 
knowledge and Meer Motion, We do by these 
Presents create, erect and constitute the said 
Tract of Land, hereby granted, and all other the 
Lands included within the Bounds and Limits 
last Mentioned and every Part and Parcel there- 
of one Township forever, hereafter to be con- 
tinue and remain, and by the Name of WHIT- 
INGHAM forever, hereafter to be called and 
known, and for the better and more easily carry- 


ing on and managing the public affairs and Busi- 
ness of the same Township our Royal Will and 
Pleasure, and we do hereby for us and our heirs 
and successors give and grant to the Inhabitants 
of the said Township all the Powers, Authorities, 
Privileges and Advantages heretofore given and 
granted to or legally enjoyed by all, any or either 
our other Townships within our said Province. 
And we also ordain and establish that there shall 
be forever hereafter in the said Township two 
Assessors, one Treasurer, two Overseers of the 
Highways, two Overseers of the Poor, one Col- 
lector and four Constables, elected and chosen 
out of the Inhabitants of the said Township 
yearly and every year on the first Tuesday in 
May at the most publick Place in the said Town- 
ship by the majority of the Freeholders thereof 
then and there met and assembled for that Pur- 
pose; hereby declaring that wheresoever the first 
election in the said Township shall be held, the 
future elections shall forever thereafter be held 
in the same Place as near as may be and giving 
and granting to the said officers, so chosen. Power 
and Authority to exercise their said several and 
respective offices, during one whole year from 
such election, and until others are legally chosen 
and elected in their Room and stead as fully and 


amply as any the like officers have or legally may 
use or exercise their offices in our said Province: 
And in case any or either of the said officers of 
the said Township shall die or remove from the 
said Township before the time of their annual 
service shall be expired, or refuse to act in the 
Offices for which they shall respectively be 
chosen, then our Royal Will and Pleasure fur- 
ther is, and we do hereby direct, ordain and 
require the Freeholders of the said Township to 
meet at the Place where the annual Election 
shall be held for the said Township, and choose 
other or others of the said Inhabitants of the said 
Township in the place and stead of him or them 
so dying, removing or refusing to act, within 
forty days next after such contingency and to 
prevent any undue election in this case, We do 
hereby ordain and require that upon every 
Vacancy in the Office of Assessors, the Treas- 
urer, and in either of the other offices, the Assess- 
ors of the said Township, shall within ten days 
next after any such vacancy first happens, ap- 
point the day for such Election, and give publick 
Notice thereof in writing under his or their 
hands by affixing such notice on the Church 
Door or other most publick Place in the said 
Township at the least ten days before the day 


appointed for such Election, and in default 
thereof, We do hereby require the Officer or 
Officers of the said Township or the survivor of 
them, who in the order they are hereinbefore 
mentioned shall next succeed him or them so 
making Default, to appoint the day for such 
Election, and give notice thereof as aforesaid, 
hereby giving and granting to such Person or 
Persons as shall be so chosen by the majority of 
such of the Freeholders of the said Township 
as shall meet in manner hereby directed shall 
have, hold, exercise and enjoy the office or offices 
to which he or they shall be so elected and chosen 
from the time of such election until the first 
Tuesday in May then next following, and until 
other or others be legally chosen in his or their 
place and stead, as fully as the Person or Per- 
sons in whose Place he or they shall be chosen 
might or could have done by virtue of these 
Presents. And we do hereby will and direct that 
this Method shall forever hereafter be used for 
the filling up all vacancies that shall happen in 
any of the said Offices between the annual Elec- 
tions above directed. Provided always and upon 
Condition nevertheless that if our said Grantees, 
their heirs or assigns, or some or one of them 
shall not within three years next after the date 


of this our present Grant settle on the said Tract 
of Land hereby granted, so many Families as 
shall amount to one Family for every thousand 
acres of the same Tract, or if they, our said 
Grantees or one of them, their or one of their 
heirs or assigns shall not also within three years 
to be computed as aforesaid plant and effectually 
at the least three acres for every fifty acres of 
such of the hereby granted Lands as are capable 
of Cultivation; or if they, our said Grantees or 
any of them, they or any of their heirs or assigns 
or any other Person or Persons by their or any 
of their Privity, Consent or Procurement shall 
fell, cut down or otherwise destroy any of the 
Pine Trees by these Presents reserved to us, our 
heirs and Successors, or hereby intended so to be, 
without the Royal License of us, our heirs or 
Successors for so doing first had and obtained; 
that then and in any of these Cases this our pres- 
ent Grant and everything therein Contained 
shall cease and be absolutely void, and the Lands 
and Premises hereby granted shall revert to and 
vest in us, our heirs and Successors, as if this, our 
present Grant had not been made, anything 
hereinbefore contained to the contrary in any 
wise notwithstanding: 

Provided further and upon Condition also 


nevertheless, and We do hereby for us, our heirs 
and Successors direct and appoint, that this our 
present Grant shall be registered and entered on 
Record within six months from the date thereof 
in our Secretary's Office in our City of New 
York in our said Province in one of the Books 
of Patents there remaining and a Docquet there- 
of shall be also entered in our Auditor's Office 
there for our said Province and that in default 
thereof this our present Grant shall be void and 
of non Effect, any thing before in these Presents 
contained to the contrary thereof in any wise 
notwithstanding, and We do moreover of our 
especial Grace, certain Knowledge and Meer 
Motion Consent and agree that this our present 
Grant being registered, recorded and a Docquet 
thereof made as before directed and appointed 
shall be good and effectual in the Law to all 
Intents, Constructions and Purposes whatsoever 
against us, our heirs and Successors notwith- 
standing any misreciting, misbounding, misnam- 
ing or other Imperfections or Omissions of in 
or in any wise concerning the above granted or 
hereby mentioned or intended to be granted 
Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments and Premises 
or any part thereof. 

In Testimony If hereof We have caused these 


our Letters to be made Patent and the Great Seal 
of our said Province of New York to be here- 
unto affixed. 

Witness our said trusty and well beloved Cad- 
wallader Golden, Esquire, our said Lieutenant 
Governor and Commander in Chief of our said 
Province of New York and the Territories de- 
pending thereon in America at our Fort in our 
City of New York the twelfth day of March in 
the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hun- 
dred and seventy and of our Reign the Tenth. 

Second Skin, the word any in the twenty- 
fourth being first interlined. — Clarke. 

In the preceeding Certificate and Letters re- 
corded for Nathan Whiting and others, page §2 
Line 75 the word "thereof" is interlined. Ex- 
amined and compared this I^ March, ITJO, By 

Geo. BanYER, D. Sec'ry. 
Recorded in Book IS, page 51 &c. 



Plan of Whitingham at Time of Charter 
March 12, 1770. 


124 ohaioa 

178 chaina 

178 chains 

Lieut. Culeton 
2,000 tcrea 


Capt. Walknr 
3,000 acrba 

Lieut. Etherinfton 
1,000 acn* 


Lieut. Nordberih 
2.000 acres 




Fitch'l 6,900 acrea 




Lieut. Gamble 
2,000 acres 

Lieut. Eddington 
2,000 acres 

Capt. Whitinc 
3,000 acres 




118i chains 

llSi chains 

178 chains 

480 chains 
ProTince of Massachusetts Bay 

Comer of Cumberlaod 

Thus was Whitingham chartered and sur- 
veyed, more carefully than any surveying has 
since been done until recently. In surveying 


these lands more than fifty acres in each thou- 
sand were allowed for "highways" or "bad and 
unprofitable acres," so that the entire 23,040 
acres were covered or six miles square. These 
grantees were officers in the French and Indian 
wars. Thomas Etherington received a part of 
the thirty thousand dollars paid by Vermont to 
New York as a compromise for grants made in 
Vermont, but whether it was for the grant in 
this town or not I do not know, nor have I 
learned what, if anything, Lieut. James Edding- 
ton, Lieut. John Nordbergh or Lieut. Dennis 
Carleton did in relation to their grants, but the 
"land grabbers" not of New York, seized a large 
part of them. 

Samuel Darby built a house and had posses- 
sions on T. Etherington's patent as early as 1776 
and November 5 of that year gave Silas Hamil- 
ton authority to sell the same. — Green Leaves, 
page I02. 

With or without right, Silas Hamilton was 
living in that part of the town soon after the 
charter was granted, and probably built a house 
there that year. He built the first hotel in town 
on the place known as the Addison Eames place. 
About the year 1780 he and seven associates 
petitioned for a grant of three thousand acres. 


to the authorities of Vermont, and their petition 
was granted as follows: 


State of 


The Governor; Council and 
General Assembly of the Free- 
men OF Vermont. 

To all people to whom these presents shall Come, 

Greeting : 
Know Ye that whereas it has been represented 
to us by our worthy friend Silas Hamilton and 
associates, that there is a certain tract of Vacant 
land within this State, which has not been here- 
tofore granted, which they pray may be granted 
to them, we have therefore thought fit for the 
due encouragement of settling a new plantation 
within this State and other valuable considera- 
tions us hereunto moving and do bv these Pres- 
ents in the name and by the authority of the free- 
men of Vermont give and grant unto the said 
Silas Hamilton and the several persons here- 
after named his associates, viz. : Thomas Sterns, 
John Butler, James Roberts, Abner Moor, 
James Angel, Charles Dodge, and Eliphalct 
Hyde, bounded as follows, viz. : Beginning at 
the southeast corner of Wilmington and the 
northeast corner of Whitingham beach tree 
marked P. P. M. thence bounded on Wilming- 


ton north eighty degrees west 176 chains and 25 
links to a small maple tree marked P. P. M. 
thence south 10 degrees west 171 chains and 25 
links to a large beach tree marked M. E. 1 1 1 
thence south eighty degrees east 176 chains and 
25 links to a large hemlock tree on Halifax line, 
thence bounded on Halifax line north 10 degrees 
east 171 chains and 25 links to the first mentioned 
bounds, containing three thousand acres. 

And the said tract of land is hereby declared 
to be joined to the Township of Whitingham or 
entitled to receive equal privileges and immuni- 
ties in connection with said town as other cor- 
porated Towns within this state do by law exer- 
cise and enjoy. To have and to hold the said 
granted premises with every appurtenance and 
privilege to them and their respective heirs and 
assigns as above described to their free and full 
enjoyment forever. 

In Testimony whereof we have caused the 
seal of this State to be affixed this 15th day of 
March, A.D., 1780, and in the third year of the 
independence of this State. 

Thomas Chittenden. 
Jonas Fay, Sec'y. 

This was evidently intended to cover the same 
territory as the grant to Lieutenant Nor Ibergh 


and Etherington, though the distance given is a 
little less. 

The State asked for this grant six thousand 
shillings, but June 8, 1780, reduced the price to 
three thousand, money made good as in 1774. 
This is now known as Hamilton's Grant. Feb- 
ruary 23, 1781, the General Assembly of Ver- 
mont passed a resolve that a grant of land be 
made to Robert Bratton and seven associates in 
the northeast corner of Whitingham of five 
thousand acres. — Jillson's address. 

If this is not a mistake in copying it certainly 
is in statement for the grant was made for two 
thousand acres, November 22, 1782, and in the 
northwest comer, and covered the lands form- 
erly granted to Lieut. Carleton, and to Bratton 
and six associates. The petition called for 5,000 
acres, but before the grant was made, October 
22, 1782, a grant covering the grant to Capt. 
John Walker, was made as follows: 

"Tuesday, October 22, 1782. 
Resolved that there be and is hereby granted 
and conferred to Messrs Samuel Wells, Jona- 
than Hunt and Arad Hunt three thousand acres 
of land lying in Whitingham with the usual 


allowances for highways in such proportion as 
they heretofore claimed the same under a grant 
from the late government of New York, for 
such fees the Governor and Council shall judge 
reasonable, upon this condition that the said 
Grantees convey to each settler now actually 
dwelling on said land, one hundred acres to be 
laid out in such form as the committee herein- 
after named shall direct, and to include the im- 
provements made by such settler within four- 
teen days after such settler shall have paid or 
secured to be paid to the said grantees to the 
satisfaction of said Committee such sum or sums 
of money as said committee shall judge just. 

Provided That the said grantees shall not be 
holden to convey as aforesaid except as to such 
settlers who shall pay or secure the payment as 
aforesaid within one month after such committee 
shall have determined the price to be paid by 
them and notice thereof given to them respec- 
tively, said land hereby granted bounded as fol- 
lows, viz. : Beginning at the northwest corner 
of a tract of land granted by the late government 
of New York to Lieut. Thomas Etherington, and 
runs thence north 80 degrees west 178 chains, 
thence south 10 degrees west 177 chains, thence 
south 80 degrees east 178 chains, thence north 


10 degrees east 177 chains to the place of begin- 
ning, and further Resolved that Col. Zadock 
Granger and Capt. Whittemore of Marlborough 
and Luke Knowlton, Esq., of New Fane or such 
other person or persons as the parties shall 
mutually agree on shall be a committee for the 
purpose aforesaid." 

John Walker seems by some kind of arrange- 
ment to have transferred his three thousand 
acres to Col. Samuel Wells of Brattleboro and 
he in turn to Jonathan and Arad Hunt of Ver- 
non, then called Hinsdale. It would be interest- 
ing to know whom these settlers were. 

March 6, 1774, when Col. Wells owned this 
grant he mortgaged it to William Wincher of 
New York, and September 8, 1774, he deeded 
lot No. 1 of this grant to Hezekiah Leffenwell, 
who in two days mortgaged it back to Wells. 
See Cumberland Deeds. 

Why, if Samuel Wells owned the Walker 
grant should he ask a grant from Vermont, then 
in a new and uncertain state, and with uncertain 
authority; and why did he ask a grant of land 
he had already sold, unless he had taken back 
the Leffenwell lot? But he had not, for Leffen- 


well sold it, and the title is regular down to this 

What, if anything, was done under the com- 
mission I am not informed. 

There was a supplementary grant to the Hunts 
as follows: 

I The Governor, Council and 
(L. S.) [ General Assembly of the State 
I OF Vermont. 

To all persons to whom these presents shall 

Come, Greeting: 

Knov/ Ye That Whereas Jonathan Hunt and 
Arad Hunt, Esquires, our worthy friends, have 
by petition requested and obtained a grant of 
land within this State for the purpose of Settle- 
ment, we have therefore thought fit for the due 
encouragement of their laudable designs and in 
consequence of their faithful performance of the 
conditions of the grant of land aforesaid, and do 
by these presents and in the name and by the 
authority of the freemen of the State of Ver- 
mont, give and grant unto the aforesaid Jonathan 
Hunt and Arad Hunt their heirs and assigns 
forever the lots or pieces of land hereafter 
bounded and described as follows, to wit: 


Three lots in the Township of Whitingham, 
being a part of three thousand acres granted 
to Capt. John Walker, a reduced officer, said lots 
containing one hundred and ninety-six acres in 
each lot and are numbered two, three and five 
as expressed in a certain indenture of release 
made to the said Jonathan Hunt and Arad Hunt 
by Samuel Wells and is contained in a grant 
made by the Legislature of this State to Messrs 
Samuel Wells and the aforesaid Jonathan and 
Arad Hunt on the 22d day of October, 1782, of 
three thousand acres of land in the aforesaid 
Whitingham, the aforesaid three lots of land 
containing in the whole six hundred acres or 
thereabouts, reserving to the use of the public 
the usual allowance for highways. 

To have and to hold the aforesaid Lots and 
Pieces of land as above described, with all the 
privileges and appurtenances belonging thereto 
to the above said Jonathan Hunt and Arad Hunt 
and each of their respective heirs and assigns 
forever, they doing and performing the settle- 
ment and duty required by Law on other Grants 
made by this State. 

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my 
hand, and caused the Seal of this State to be 
affixed this 25th day of October, 1787. 

Thom.\s Chittenden. 


In 1796 a tract of land was granted to Green, 
Moulton and others, as Whitingham Gore, as 
follows : 


(L. S.) [ General Assembly of the Free- 
J The Governor, Council and 

To all People to Whom these presents shall 

Come, Greeting: 

Know Ye that whereas, that whereas our 
worthy friend, Mr. Amos Green and Company 
to the numbers of sixteen have by petition re- 
quested a grant of unlocated land within this 
State for the purpose of settlement, we have 
therefore thought fit for the due encouragement 
of their laudable designs and for other valuable 
causes and considerations as hereunto moving, 
do by these presents in the name and by the 
authority of the freemen of the State of Vermont 
give grant unto the said Amos Green & Com- 
pany the tract of land hereafter bounded & de- 
scribed to be divided into equal shares as fol- 
lows, viz: Samuel Moulton, Thomas Day, Sam- 
uel Day, James Howard, Seth Howard, Benja- 
min Nelson, Benjamin Blodgett, Benjamin 
Blodgett, Jr., Samuel Nelson, Solomon Moul- 


ton, Asaph White, William Nelson, Thomas 
Blodgett, Abishai Blodgett and Daniel Wallace 
reserving three hundred acres out of said tract 
of land for the following public use, viz: One 
hundred acres for the use and benefit of a college 
within this State, one hundred acres for the use 
and support of a school or schools within said 
tract & one hundred acres for the use and sup- 
port of the first settled minister of the gospel 
within said tract of land to be disposed of for 
the sole and exclusive purposes aforesaid in such 
way and manner as the Proprietors or inhabi- 
tants of said tract shall judge proper the same to 
remain unalienable & the rents, profits and 
moneys arising therefrom shall be appropriated 
to the several uses aforesaid, and the said three 
hundred acres shall be divided into three equal 
parts & be so laid out within said tract as to be 
equal in quality and in such situation as will best 
answer the purposes for which they are reserved 
— which tract of land hereby given and granted 
as aforesaid is bounded and described as follows, 

Beginning at the southwest corner of Whit- 
ingham at a maple tree standing in the North 
line of the State of Massachusetts being 24 
perches west of the West bank of Deerfield 


River & running South 81 degrees & 30 minutes 
290 chains to a spruce tree marked O, then North 
8 degrees 30 minutes East 174 chains and SO 
links to a maple tree marked, standing in the 
South line of Col. Fitches Grant, then North 
81 degrees and 30 minutes 290 chains to a stake 
& stones, then South 8 degrees and 30 minutes 
West 174 chains & 50 links to the bounds begun 
at, containing five thousand & sixty acres & 
eighty perches. Bounding South on the State of 
Massachusetts Bay, East on Col. Whiting's pat- 
ent. North on Col. Fitches patent and West on 
Readsborough and that the same hereby is incor- 
porated into a district by the name of WHITING- 
HAM Gore and that the inhabitants that do or 
shall hereafter inhabit said district are declared 
to be enfranchised and entitled to all the privi- 
leges and immunities of citizens and exercise all 
legal power & authority in support of their inter- 
nal rights as fully and amply and (?) other in- 
corporated districts within the State do by law 
exercise and enjoy. 

To Have and to Hold the said granted 
premises as expressed in the aforesaid grant with 
all the privileges & appurtenances thereunto be- 
longing & appurtaining to them & their respec- 
tive heirs & assigns forever upon the following 


conditions, viz.: that each proprietor of the said 
district of Whitingham Gore, his heirs or assigns 
shall plant & cultivate five acres of land & build 
a house at least eighteen feet square on the floor 
or have one family on each respective right with- 
in the term of four years from the time of sur- 
veying the out lines of said Gore on the penalty 
of the forfeiture of each respective right or share 
of land not so settled & improved as aforesaid 
and the same to revert to the freemen of this 
State to be by their Representatives regranted to 
such persons as shall appear to settle and culti- 
vate the same that all pine timber suitable for a 
Navy be reserved for the use and benefits of the 
freemen of this State: 

In Testimony Whereof we have caused the 
seal of this State to be affixed at Rutland this 20th 
day of October, Anno Domini, 1796 & the 20th 
year of our independence. 

Witness our well beloved Thomas Chitten- 
den, Esquire, Governor of our said State, Cap- 
tain General & Commander in Chief of all the 
Militia of the same. 

Thomas Chittenden. 

By his Excellency's Command 
Truman Squire, Secretary. 


This piece of land was evidently intended to 
cover the grant of Lieut. Eddington, Lieut. 
Gamble and the land to the West — but the meas- 
ure lacks about 50 rods of reaching the entire 
length of the premises. 

Probably a petition had been presented for 
this grant as early as September, 1783, in peti- 
tions to the legislature describe this as land 
granted to Green and Moulton. 

A petition dated Sept. 29, 1783, set forth that 
the subscribers were settlers of the town of Whit- 
ingham, that they presented a petition dated 
Sept. 22, 1778, for land granted by New York 
to Col. Fitch and his associates, they now renew 
their request for said land containing about six 
thousand acres, bounded east on the east line of 
Whitingham, north on land formerly granted to 
Capt. Walker and one Nordbergh by two New 
York patents and south on Col. Whiting's grant 
and a grant formerly made to Lieut. Gambell 
York patents. 

Your petitioners some of us moved here near 
or quite ten years ago. 

Reciting their great hardship in making roads 


and bridges, and signed by Leonard Pike, 
Nathan Green, Elijah Pike, Levi Shumway, 
James Reed, Amos Green, Bille Clark, Jesse 
Groves, Jona Thompson, Joshua Coleman, 
Nathaniel Streeter, John Marks, John Rugg, 
Fitch Lamphire, Joseph Doubleday, Jonathan 
Shumway, John Nelson. 

This was not granted to them. It was the 
major part of the grant to Nathan Whiting and 
others when Whitingham was chartered and is 
known as Fitches Patent. 

There was another petition dated Oct. 2, 1783, 
claiming that the petitioners since the year 1772, 
had entered upon and settled a tract of land in 
the township of Whitingham containing about 
3,000 acres. 

This is Whiting's grant and they bound it on 
the west by Lieut. Gambell's New York Patent 
since granted by this State to Amos Green and 
others and ask for a reasonable consideration 
signed Amasa Shumway, Eliphalet Gustin, Jr., 
Chandler Lamphere, Eliphalet Gustin, James 
Mullett, Eleazer Gleason, Benajah Lamphire, 
Levi Shumway, Benjamin Crittenden, Jonathan 


No "reasonable consideration" was granted 
them nor was their western boundary correct. 
Oct. 7, 1783, another petition was dated setting 
forth that the subscribers were settlers in the 
town of Whitingham and ask for a tract of land 
bounded as above except west on land granted 
to Moulton and Green and company, stating that 
some of them had lived there a number of years. 
Expecting at least a settling lot and ask that the 
land be sold or granted to them. Containing 
about four thousand acres, and signed Jonathan 
Thompson, Benj. Crittenden, James Reed, Eli- 
phalet Gustin, Daniel Wilcox, Amos Green, 
Benjamin Lampee, Lieut. Williams, Jesse 
Groves, Amasa Shumway, James MacMullet, 
Samuel Thompson, Nathan Cobb, John Mack. 

It would almost seem as though this last peti- 
tion was drawn and signed by some one not 
familiar with either the territory or the names 
of the people there. 

50 whitingham, vermont 

Whitingham After Grants by Vermont. 



W»Ikor'«, Well'i. 

178 ch&inB 

SiUa HamiltoQ 
&nd Others 

Nathan Whiting and otfaera 
Fitch'a Patent 

Green and Moulton 

Really 302 chains 
Called 290 chains 

Nathan Whitins 

178 chains 

So it seems the legislature refused to meddle 
with the grant to Whiting, and to Whiting and 
others except the handle which seemed uncertain 
land. Thomas Gamble probably came to the 
war from Ireland. He deeded his 2,000 acres 
to William Gamble, Jr., late of Ireland, then 


living in the State of New York. In the descrip- 
tion the date is given as 1789, but the deed is 
dated January 12, 1797, and recorded February 
14, 1798. William Gamble, then of Hinsdale, 
N. H., deeded this tract to John Van Dusen of 
Great Harrington, Mass., Nov. 13, 1797, and re- 
corded the same day as the above. John Van 
Dusen deeded it to John Fuller by a deed of 
warranty, June 16, 1806. 

Although the legislature of Vermont seemed 
to have recognized some of the grants made by 
New York in this town, it is claimed by some 
that all those grants and the charter itself were 
void, and they base their final stand upon the 
fact as they claim, that the legislature of Ver- 
mont passed a law avoiding "all grants, cedes or 
patents made by or under the government of the 
Colony of New York except such grants, cedes 
or patents as were made in confirmation of the 
grants, charters or patents made by or under the 
government of the late Province or Colony of 
New Hampshire." That such a law was passed 
is true, but it has not been recognized by the 
Supreme Court of the State of Vermont and was 


in direct conflict with the agreement of the com- 
missioners of the State of New York and the 
State of Vermont, when the State was admitted 
into the Union. If there was any question in the 
minds of anyone as to the validity of grants, 
charters or patents issued by New York not in 
conflict with these of New Hampshire the de- 
cision of the Supreme Court in the case of Reads- 
bo ro vs. Woodford as late as 1904. Reported in 
76 Vt. page 376 settles it. The town of Reads- 
boro was chartered April, 1770, about a month 
later than Whitingham, and by the Province of 
New York also. The latest grant of land which 
we have found. Hon. Clark Jillson, a native of 
this town, and who was Judge of the District 
Court, and at one time Mayor of the City of 
Worcester, Mass., spent much time in research 
about the town of his nativity, and furnished us 
a valuable book in his "Green Leaves from 
Whitingham" which book was unique in this — 
Mr. Jillson gathered his facts, wrote them down, 
set the type and became the printer also of his 
work, except the last twelve paees. which were 
printed after his decease. Probably, had he lived, 


much more would have been found and written 
by him. He discovered many things which had 
been forgotten and were not known by his gener- 
ation, yet he had not found it all as he says of 
the grant of the three lots to Jonathan and Arad 
Hunt. "This grant was made in such a way as 
to render its location doubtful unless the three 
lots were more clearly defined than was custom- 
ary in those days." 

Walker's Patent was early divided into six- 
teen lots, each lot containing exactly 196 acres 
146 rods and were numbered as follows: 




















Fit<ib'i Patent 

Bratton's grant had some sort of numbering, 
but there is very little that has come to light, and 
the only grantee that I am now sure of the name 
besides Robert Bratton was Nathaniel Davis. 

Hamilton's grant, the same size and shape as 
Walker's, was planned somewhat as follows: 





Fitfb'a Patent 

Some of the settlers here had located, and 
some of the measurements were varied a little 
from the exact plan, as I intended this, and some 
of the surveys were not correct. 

Fitch's Patent: The grant to Nathan 



Whiting and his associates at the time the town 
was chartered was called Fitch's Patent. 

It was divided into lots of 250 acres, except 
the jog north at the west part south of Bratton's 
grant was 30 rods further north and consequently 
30 acres more land each, and lots 13, 14, 15 and 
16 were in the handle and finally included in 
Green and Moulton's grant. Of the four lots I 
have not located their situation and form of 
numbering, if they ever were situated and num- 
bered, and though called in the records 250 acres, 
they would contain nearly 288 acres. The part 
excepting the handle was as follows: 



























Green and Moultoo 


Whiting's Patent was divided into 15 lots 
called 200 acres each, but in fact measured more 
than 211 acres, and is in plan like this: 


Fitch'8 Patent 


















Green and Moulton's grant was divided into 
lots of 100 acres, but the lots were not regular in 
form and in number. Some are 160 rods north 
and south ; some 160 rods east and west and some 
irregular in form to meet the arrangement of 
highways and the situation of streams. They 


were in three different divisions or lots and some 
small part were not lotted at all. 

Most of these lines of grants and lots may now 
be readily traced, but some have been changed 
by purchase, some for convenience of parties, 
some by carelessness and alas! probably some by 
cupidity of one of the owners. 

The town of Halifax is bounded: "Beginning 
at A Marked Tree Standing half a mile West 
of Green River in the boundary line between 
the Governments of Massachusetts Bay and New 
Hampshire and from thence due West on Said 
Boundary line Six Miles & at the End of Said 
Six Miles to turn off at a Right Angle and run 
Due North Six Miles & at the End of Said Six 
Miles to Turn off at A Right Angle & run Due 
East six miles, and at the End of said six miles 
to turn A Right Angle & run Due South Six 
Miles to the Tree first Mentioned." 

As the Massachusetts line was run West 10 
degrees North, so this line must have been 10 
degrees also. 

The town of Wilmington is bounded : "Begin- 
ning at the North West corner of Halifax, 


thence Running West 10 degs. North by the 
Needle six Miles thence North 10 Degs. 
East by the Needle Six Miles, thence Turning 
off at Right Angles & Running East 10 Degs. 
South Six Miles to the North West Corner of 
a Township formerly granted in this Province 
by the name of Marlborough, thence South 10 
Degs. : west by Marlborough aforesaid to the 
Corner of Halifax begun at." This then dis- 
proves the oft repeated assertion that the 
towns of Wilmington, Marlboro, Halifax and 
Whitingham do not corner, and establishes the 
fact that they do. 

For more than a hundred and thirty years this 
town thus existed, with its wealth of scenery and 
beauty ; its mountain and vale ; its hills and glens ; 
its rocks, rivers, ponds and lakes. The Deerfield 
flowing through the western part of the town; 
not far from it the largest boulder in New Eng- 
land. Some of the finest views in the world are 
here. The only natural floating Island on 
Sadawga Lake. On the original plan of Hamil- 
ton's Grant there was a Hamilton Pond; one 
Caleb Ryder, once living north of the pond 


changed its name to Ryder's pond, and later a 
Mr. Fuller living where Schuyler Murdock now 
does, the name again changed to Fuller's pond. 
Roberts pond has been changed to Laurel Lake, 
but the old Sadawga pond still bears the name it 
always had; the name of the old Indian, who is 
said to have inhabited its shores and going down 
the river in his boat, went over the falls and was 
drowned. This pond now called Sadawga Lake 
covers an area of more than two hundred acres, 
since the Newtons raised the dam to its present 
height. At the time this town was first settled by 
the white man, there was a general desire that 
the frontiers be peopled, as a defence against the 
Indians and wild beasts, and probably many of 
the first inhabitants had little or no legal title to 
their possessions; but who were these first set- 
tlers? Leonard Brown, Esq., son of Dea. Jonas 
Brown and a life long resident of this town, in his 
interesting work "History of Whitingham" tells 
us that, "We have been told by Rev. Ebenezer 
Davis, Col. Obed Foster and Alfred Green that 
they had learned from their fathers, who were 


amongst the first settlers and spent their whole 
life in Whitingham, that the first opening in the 
forest of what is now the town of Whitingham, 
was made on the hill, on or near the old Heze- 
kiah Whitney farm west of the Seymour Hough- 
ton place. According to their story, two men 
came up there from Massachusetts and cleared 
three or four acres, as early as 1765 or 1766; one 
or both of their names, they thought was Bolton. 
It was said they spent two successive summers 
there; lived chiefly by hunting and trapping, and 
returned to Massachusetts to spend the Winter. 
They designed to make this place a permanent 
home, but one of the men died the winter fol- 
lowing the second summer spent there, and the 
other then abandoned the idea of making his 
home there, and did not return." Whether the 
particulars to date and time arc true to exact 
fact, or not, I believe there is something to this 
tradition, and that the name of the survivor was 
Robert Bolton and though he may have aban- 
doned his home there, yet stayed for a time in 
this vicinity, settling in this town or Halifax. It 
will be remembered that Halifax was settled be- 


fore Whitingham. By the first census, taken in 
the spring of 1771, I find the name of Robert 
Bolton. This census shows 4 men above the age 
of 16 years and under 60, 4 women between those 
ages, 3 boys under 16 and three girls. The names 
of the 4 heads of families were Silas Hamilton, 
Aaron Goodrich, Stephen Ayres and Robert 
Bolton. These would be early settlers if they 
were settlers here at all. Some writers have at- 
tempted to make Robert Bratton, an early settler, 
Robert Aiton, one of the grantees of the time 
the town was chartered, and this Robert Bolton 
one and the same person. It seems, however, un- 
wise to attempt such a task which must prove in 
the end quite unsuccessful ; but we see no further 
record of this Robert Bolton in this town. There 
were Boltons about this time in Halifax. Aaron 
Goodrich is not mentioned in our records. He 
owned land in Halifax, in the second lot east 
from the Whitingham line, and died before 1778. 
Nor do we learn anything more about Stephen 
Ayres living in town. A descendant of Silas 
Hamilton is still living here. It is probable that 
this census was taken at the hotel of Silas Hamil- 


ton, and that during the winter the few inhabi- 
tants scattered about gathered there for the 
winter. Robert Bratton was not included in this 
census, and probably he went to his native home 
to spend the winter, and was here summers prob- 
ably before the date of that census. 

Whitingham held its centennial celebration 
in August, 1880, the summer of a hundred years 
from the first town meeting we now have a rec- 
ord of. This record reads: 

"At an annual Town Meeting, March 30th, 
1780, the men Whos names are under Ritten 
Ware chosen to Ofis. Eliphalet Hyde, Town 

James Angel, 

Eliphalet Hyde, 

Silas Hamilton, Selectmen. 

Silas Hamilton, Treasurer. 

Abner More, 

Levi Shumway, Constables. 

Abner More, 

Ebenezer Davis, 

John Nelson, Jr., Highway Surveyors. 

Thos. Stearns, 
Eliphalet Hyde, Listers. 


Levi Shumway, 
Abner More, Collectors. 
Thomas Stearns, Grand Juror. 
John Butler, Sealer of Waits & Meas- 
Amasa Shumway, 
Thos. Stearns, Deer Reef." 

This record is not signed nor is there a record 
of anything else done at that meeting, and all 
the officers were in the northeast part of the town 
except four, Ebenezer Davis, John Nelson, Jr., 
Levi and Amasa Shumway. The very reading 
of this record ought in itself to be evidence that 
it was not the first town meeting. "At an annual 
Town Meeting" does not read like the beginning. 
The first legislature under the constitution of 
Vermont was elected in March, 1778, and Silas 
Hamilton represented the town in that legisla- 
ture, and in September, 1778, Silas Hamilton 
and Robert Bratton were Selectmen, acting as 
such and Thos. Hunt, Constable. \\'^hat has be- 
come of these early records we do not know, but 
without doubt, from 1771, or about that time 


there was some kind of meetings and voting, 
and probably roads were made by voluntary 
labor. A petition to the legislature dated Sept. 
29, 1783, and signed Leonard Pike, Levi Shum- 
way, Bille Clark, Joshua Coleman, John Rugg, 
Nathan Green, James Reed, Jesse Groves, Na- 
thaniel Streeter, Fitch Lamphire, Elijah Pike, 
Amos Green, Jona Thompson, John Marks, 
Joseph Doubleday, Jonathan Shumway and 
John Nelson states that they were "settlers of 
the Town of Whitingham - - - some of us 
Removed here near or quite ten years ago. We 
have undergone a Great Deal of Hardship & 
toil in Making and Repairing Roads and 
bridges." Another petition states that "Your 
petitioners since the Year 1772 have entered 
upon and settled a Tract of Land in the Town- 
ship of Whitingham," &c. and this is signed 
Amasa Shumway, Eliphalet Gustin, Benijah 
Lamphire, Eleazer Gleason, Benjamin Critten- 
den, Jonathan Edgcomb, Eliphalet Gustin, Jr., 
James Mullett, Levi Shumway, Chandler Lam- 
phire. This was dated Oct. 2, 1783. And Oct. 7, 
1783, another petition covering about the same 


as the last was signed by Jonathan Thompson, 
Eliphalet Gustin, Benjamin Crittenden, Daniel 
Wilcox, Lieut. Williams, James MacMullett, 
James Read, Amos Green, Jesse Groves, Samuel 
Thompson, Nathan Cobb, John Mack. I am in- 
clined to think this last and perhaps one of the 
others were the work of one man. Most of the 
names signed to the second petition were of per- 
sons who lived in the southeast part of the town, 
in Whiting's Grant, while most of the signers to 
the first petition lived on Fitches Patent. These 
then were some of the settlers. 

March 30, 1780, the following persons were 
made freemen by taking the freeman's oath: 

Robert Bratton Samuel Buttler 

John Buttler John Nelson 

James Angel John Nelson, Jr. 

Thomas Sterns Silas Hamilton 

Abner Moor Benjamin Blodget 

Jonathan Edgcomb Eliphalet Gustin 

Eliphalet Hyde Amasa Shumway 

Moses Hyde Levi Shumway 

Ebenezer Davis Reuben Washburn 

Robert Nelson Thomas Hunt 

In 1781, Henry Lee, John Rugg, Beriah 
Sprague, Jabez Foster, Amos Green, Timothy 


Sto Barton, Jonathan Dix, Jonathan Barton, 
Sterling Sterns, Samuel Day, Elisha Blake, 
Nathaniel Streeter, Nathan Lee, Rodger Edg- 
comb, Charles Dodge, Bille Clark, Nathan 
Green, James Read, Daniel Wilcox. 

In 1783, Isaac Lyman, John Howard, Nehe- 
miah Sprague and a man by the name of Fuller. 

In 1784, James Roberts, James Glass, Levi 
Redfield, James Wilcox, Jesse Groves, David 
Bratton, Robert Liscomb. 

Although a record of the town meeting of 1780 
is preserved, we have no record of the work of 
the listers. In 1781 the grand list shows the fol- 
lowing names: James Angel, Jonathan Barton, 
Timothy Sto Barton, Elishu Blake, Benjamin 
Blodget, Benjamin Blodget, Jr., Thomas Blod- 
get, John Blashfield, Boyd, Robert Bratton, 
Robert Bratton, Jr., John Butler, Samuel Butler, 
Bille Clark, Joshua Coleman, Ebenezer Davis, 
Nathaniel Davis, Samuel Day, Thomas Day, 
Jonathan Dix, Charles Dodge, Jonathan Edg- 
comb, Roger Edgcomb, Jabez Foster, Elijah 
French, Calvin Fuller, Isaac Fuller, Amos 
Green, Eliphalet Gustin, Daniel Halloway, Silas 


Hamilton, James Howard, John Howard, 
Thomas Hunt, Eliphalet Hyde, Moses Hyde, 
Benijah Lamphire, Henry Lee, Nathan Lee, 
Abner Moor, John Nelson, John Nelson, Jr., 
Samuel Nelson, Bimslee Peters, Leonard Pike, 
James Read, John Rugg, Amasa Shumway, 
Jonathan Shumway, Levi Shumway, Beriah 
Sprague, Sterling Sterns, Thomas Sterns, Luther 
Washburn, Daniel Wilcox. Fifty-five in all, a 
substantial increase in ten years. Four men in 
1771 — fifty-five in 1781, making the inhabitants 
of the town about 200, 

Eliphalet Hyde is called in this list Capt 
Silas Hamilton, Esq. Boyd's first name is not 
given but it was William. The name of James 
Roberts does not appear, yet he was one of the 
eight to whom Hamilton's grant was chartered. 
The list of 1782 also contained 55 names, but 13 
of those on the 1781 list had fallen off, namely: 
John Blashfield, Robert Bratton, Jr., Roger 
Edgcomb, Isaac Fuller, Elijah French, James 
Howard, Eliphalet Hyde, John Nelson, John 
Nelson Jr., Jonathan Shumway, Sterling Sterns, 
Thomas Sterns, and Luther Washburn and thir- 


teen were added, to wit: Benjamin Barber, 
James Blodget, Joseph Coleman, Benjamin Crit- 
tenden, Nathan Green, L. Fitch Lamphire, 
Robert Liscomb, Isaac Lyman, Silas Moor, 
Leonard Pike, Jr., James Roberts. Nehemiah 
Sprague and Nathaniel Streeter. The list of 
1783 contained 56 names, Samuel Butler, Wil- 
liam Boyd, Moses Hyde, Samuel Nelson, Benja- 
min Barber, Silas Moor, Leonard Pike, Jr., 
Nathaniel Streeter, James Blodget and Benja- 
min Crittenden dropped out, and John Butler, 
Jr., David Bratton, James Glass, Benjamin Ly- 
man, Andrew Nelson, John Otis and Henry 
Woodhouse were added, and Robert Bratton, Jr., 
James Howard, John Nelson, John Nelson, Jr., 
who were off the 1782 list were returned. The 
list of 1791 contained 80 names and the census 
as taken by the United States was 442 people in 

Before any of these lists were taken it appears 
that Samuel Darby had a house and occupied 
land on Etherington's Patent as early as Nov. S, 
1776, and that, as early as Nov. 21, 1771, James 
Cary was here making a contract to cut wood on 



the same patent. In taking the census of the 
United States in 1790 the head of the family 
was put down, and in columns, free white males 
16 years old and upward, free white males under 
16 years, free white females, all other free per- 
sons, slaves. Whitingham was as follows: 

Free white 


males over 16 

under 16 


Anderson, Wm 




Angel, James 



Armstrong, Simeon . 


Bratton, Robert . 




Bratton, David 



Barton, Jona 



Barton, Timo 



Barton, Benja 



Bishop, Solomon . . . 



Bradley, Eli 

Butler, Saml 



Blodget, Thos 




Blodget, Benja, Junr. 



Bond, Solomon 


Blodget, Benja. . . . 



Barr, Simeon 


Carnaga, Andrew . . . 




Coleman, Joseph . . . 

Cooley, Benja 



Carley, Jona 



Clark, Billy 




Day, Samuel 

Dodge, Joshua .... 
Dix, Jonathan .... 
Davis, Nathaniel . . 
Doubleday, Elisha . 

Foster, Jabez 

Frazier, James .... 
Fuller, Calvin .... 
Gustin, Eliphalet . . 
Goodnow, Benja. . . 

Graves, Jesse 

Gains, James 

Green, Amos 

Green, Nathan .... 

Glass, James 

Hunt, Thomas .... 
Hayward, John . . . 
Hayward, John, Junr. 
Hambleton, Jona. . 
Lyman, Isaac .... 
Lyman, Benja. . . . 
Lyman, Eleazer . . 

Lyman, Silas 1 

Lamphier, Banajah . . 1 2 

Lamphier, Reuben ... 1 
Lamphier, Chandler . 1 

Lyon, Joseph 2 2 

Lovell, Samuel 1 1 2 

Mullett, James 2 S 1 

Free white 


males over 16 

under 16 


































































Free white Males 
males over 16 under 16 

Munn, Calvin .... 

Morey, John 

Nelson, John 

Nye, Jona 

Nye, Wm 

Otis, John 

Otis, John, Junr. . . 
Pike, Leonard .... 

Pike, Elisha 

Pike, Elijah 

Pike, Nathaniel . . . 
Roberts, James .... 

Rugg, John 

Ryder, Caleb 

Reed, James 

Sikes, Francis 

Smith, Jonas 

Streeter, James .... 
Shumway, Levi . . . 
Shumway, Amasa . 
Sprague, Nehemiah 

Tarr, Simeon 

Vicory, Merrifield . 

Wilcox, Danl 

Wilcox, James .... 
Whitney, Aaron . . . 
Wright, Richard . . 
Wood, John 











The name Graves should be Groves; Hay- 
ward, Howard and Lovell, Lovett. 

In the examination of some of the early deeds 
it is difficult to determine whether they are war- 
ranty, Quit Claim or Mortgage deeds. It is pos- 
sible that some lands were transferred without 
any paper title. Many deeds, probably, were 
never recorded, and some were recorded in other 
places than our town books. It must be remem- 
bered New York claimed this territory until 
bought off by Vermont for $30,000. New Hamp- 
shire for fifteen years and Massachusetts for a 
shorter time. In 1777, Vermont declared her 
independence and claimed sovereignty here, and 
no wonder the early settlers were in a dilemma, 
and when, in October, 1784, the legislature of 
Vermont passed an act empowering the select- 
men of Whitingham to issue a warrant for the 
collection of a tax of one penny an acre on all 
unappropriated lands in Whitingham for the 
purpose of building and repairing roads and 
bridges, and under this act Constable Daniel 
Wilcox sold to pay this tax, lands he called un- 
improved about 5,000 acres of Fitch's Patent, 


19 in Whiting's Patent, 50 in Hamilton's grant, 
652 in Bratton's Grant and some 1,200 acres in 
Walker's patent. Some of these lands were sold 
to the real owners, some to agents of the real 
owners, and some probably to real purchasers; 
probably some of these were redeemed by the 
legal owners. Jesse Groves, Constable, says the 
legislature granted a tax of one penny an acre 
in October, 1789, and proceeded to sell to pay 
this tax, 16 pieces of land, probably, mostly to 
the real owners before the sale, among them 1,219 
acres in Walker's patent to Jonathan and Arad 
Hunt. These taxes were assessed before Vermont 
was recognized as a State, but the fad of having 
your lands sold and buying them yourself was 
spreading. The "Governer and Council" states 
that in 1796, a tax of two pence on an acre was 
voted by the legislature, but the Constable, Capt. 
Samuel Parker, called it one and sold 13 lots 
for that tax, and the next year Constable Capt. 
Amasa Shumway sold 76 lots on the other penny 
calling it, however, as passed by the 1797 legis- 
lature. In 1807, the legislature assessed a tax of 
one cent an acre on all the lands in Vermont to 


erect a State Prison, and John Roberts, Consta- 
ble, sold 44 lots of land on this tax. Yea, even 
this fad had almost become a craze. When the 
legislature of 1812 voted a tax of one cent an 
acre. Constable Shumway advertised all the land 
in town for sale to pay the same. He called each 
100 'acres 95 and all other lots nearly in propor- 
tion. In these various sales, some of the prin- 
cipal owners had their lands sold more than 
once; it is supposed to perfect their title. James 
Roberts, one of the leading men in town at those 
times had his home sold three or more times, and 
bought it himself. By this time it would seem 
that all the land in town ought to be well defined 
and its title secure. 

Now what did these early people do that was 
different from other people? We may know 
they went on reducing the forest, building log 
houses, then better, and enacted those things 
necessary for their comfort and convenience. 
They builded roads, chose officers and estab- 
lished society, same as other people in those days. 
There was no organized church in this town 
until 1804, but in 1781 citizens of this town sub- 


scribed toward building a meeting house, near 
the corner of the town. Probably this house was 
never built. What move, if any was made prior 
to 1780 to build a meeting house our records do 
not show. At the March meeting in 1781, 
"Voted that the Selectmen shall run a senter 
line through the town East and West, North and 
South and lay out two main Roads as near the 
senter line as the land will allow of." At the 
March meeting in 1784, "Voted that the Select- 
men find the senter of said town and make re- 
port to the next March annual Town Meeting." 
Mr. Jillson thought this finding the "senter of 
the town was for the purpose of building near 
there a meeting house." At a meeting September 
7, 1784, "Voted that the town will not except the 
spot the Selectmen put the stake for the Meeting 
house." "Voted that the Meeting house spot 
be Eastwardly from James Reed's house about 
60 or 70 Rods on the hill amongst the Wind- 
falls." Town meeting, September 6. 178.'5, 
"Voted that the road be Surveyed and Recorded 
ten rods wide that leads from Mr. Groveses 
Westerly by the spot of land voted by the town 


for the place to build a meeting house. Said 
wedth of Rod beginning fifteen rods east of the 
meeting house place thence running west as the 
road is now laid to the road that leads through 
the town North and South." The road that 
run through the town north and south was the 
one from Rowe line to Wilmington line, past 
the dwelling house now owned by Charles S. 
Goodnow. The road that run to the old com- 
mon began on Halifax line at the house of 
Thomas Hunt in what is now known as the 
Perry Hall pasture; thence southerly past 
Elijah Allen's, E. J. Corkin's, Geo. H. Burgess' 
and No. 5 schoolhouse to the center. Jesse 
Groves lived at the so-called Squire Bliss place 
lately sold by Wm. O. Barnes to Archie R. 
Morse. The road was to be three rods wide from 
Thomas Hunt's to Jesse Groves'. The select- 
men probably found the center of the town about 
seven and a half rods southerly from the north- 
east comer of the Brigham Young lot now owned 
by Charles E. Putnam, but the place voted 
among the windfalls must have been near Mrs. 
Mary E. Morse's, for many years the Baptist 


parsonage. James Reed's house, was the old 
Higley house, then near where Chas. S. Good- 
now's barn now is. July 21, 1788, the town 
voted to raise a tax of two pence on the pound 
to hire a minister, said tax to be paid in money, 
"Wheet," "Rey," com, flax, or "neet" stock 
to be paid on or before the 25th day of De- 
cember next, and voted to meet on the sec- 
ond Monday in September next to clear off 
a place to build a meeting house. If this land 
was cleared off, and the tax all paid in so 
the minister could have a Christmas feast, it 
would all figure $54.61, but they did not raise 
so much, as at the meeting when the tax was 
voted, it was also voted that James Roberts, Esq., 
Silas Hamilton, Esq., James Angel, Tilson Bar- 
rows, Roger Edgcomb and all others that bring 
certificates agreeable to law before said tax is 
assessed shall be exempted from paying any part 

They chose Amasa Shumway to collect this 
tax, and it seems he had to force the collection of 
some taxes, and suits were brought against him, 
and in one a judgment recovered which the town 


At this time many of the ministers were mem- 
bers of Congregational Churches and doubtless 
preached according to that faith, and those per- 
sons who were members of churches of other 
denominations, and paid to these churches felt it 
was a burden which they should not bear to pay 
to support a state or town church, when they 
were assisting in supporting one of their own 
faith and practice; this is probably the reason of 
the exemptions mentioned in the vote; and at dif- 
ferent times certificates have been recorded, that 
persons paid and belonged to other churches. 
July 6, 1795, by vote of 29 to 8 voted to build a 
house of public worship 40 x 50. To raise £200 
in timber boards, shingles and money, the timber 
boards and shingles to be apportioned by a com- 
mittee and to be on the ground by July 1, 1796, 
or forfeit their right to timber &c., and must pay 
in money in "lue" thereof. Samuel Day, James 
Roberts and Jabez Foster were the building 
committee. Voted that persons of every relig- 
ious denomination have free access to and in said 
house on any day of the week without obstruction 
or molestation. This meeting was adjourned to 


September 29 when it was voted that $400 of the 
£200 be paid on lists of 1795 and the remaining 
£80 be raised on the list of 1796. Voted that the 
meeting house be set on the height of land a few 
rods east of the school house in the center school 
district. A meeting was held February 1, 1796, 
to see if the town would vote to reconsider, 
which, by a vote of 22 to 13 was passed in the 
negative. They then voted on the question of 
postponement for one year, which was lost by a 
vote of 14 to 8, and in 1798 on the question, "Will 
you build a meeting house?" passed in the nega- 
tive, so it seems it was supposed they had recon- 
sidered the whole proceedings of the meeting 
house, but at a special meeting March 18, 1799, 
"Voted, unanimously, to build a meeting house: 
Yeas 41, Nays 2," 45 x 50, on the top of the hill 
on the common east of the center school house. 
At the March meeting in 1800 voted that all 
town meetings in the future shall be warned to be 
holden at the meeting house. At a meeting June 
5 chose James Glass, Samuel Day and Jabez 
Foster a committee to "supply the house with 
Preaching the Insuing Year" and voted to ac- 


cept the meeting house. So after all this struggle 
the first meeting house was builded. underpinned 
and accepted, yet it was finished, neither on the 
outside nor inside, pews were not set, yet for the 
next few years the town voted money, and chose 
a committee each year to procure preaching. 

October 25, 1804, the Congregational Church 
was organized as follows: "We, the subscribers, 
Inhabitants of the town of Whitingham being 
sensible of our obligation to walk together in all 
the ordinances of the Gospel of Christ, & to be 
united in fellowship & communion as deciples of 
our common Lord & Savior, Do now with the 
advice & assistance of Rev. Messrs Gershom C. 
Lyman of Marlboro, Resolved Smith of Rowe 
& Jesse Edson of Halifax, combine togather in 
the sacred relation of Christian brethren, in the 
firm belief of the following articles, as the Doc- 
trines of our religious faith, viz : we believe 

There is one only living and true God, exist- 
ing in 3 persons, the Father, Son & Holy Ghost. 

That God is Creator & Governor of all worlds, 
possessed of all natural & moral perfections in an 
infinite Degree. 

That the Scriptures of the old & New Testa- 
ment are given by inspiration from God & are 
the only rule of our faith & practice. 


That God made man upright & holy, placed 
him under a covenant of works with a promise 
of life annexed to it in case of his obedience, & 
a threatening of death if he was disobedient. 

That man, being left to his own free will, by 
transgressing the command of his Maker, fell 
from his original state of holiness & happiness, 
& involved himself with all his posterity in guilt 
and misery. 

That fallen Man could never have made satis- 
faction to the divine law, or restored himself to 
a state of holiness, or obtained the Divine favour. 

We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God 
is the only mediator between God & Man, — that 
in order to effect a reconciliation between them, 
he assumed human nature & became God & man 
in two different natures & one person forever. 
That by obeying the Divine law & Suffering its 
penalty, in man's stead, he hath made atonement 
for sin, & opened the way for the pardon & sal- 
vation of sinners, in consistance with the honor 
of God as the righteous Governor of the world. 

We believe that those who partake of the sav- 
ing benefit of Christ's atonement, are regenerate 
by the special operation of the Holy Spirit, hav- 
ing been "chosen in Christ before the foundation 
of the world, that they should be holy & without 


blame before him in love" (Eph. i. 4.). They 
must believe in the name of the only begotten 
Son of God, exercise hearty repentence for sin, 
& bring forth fruits of obedience in holy lives & 

We believe that all who are born again of the 
Spirit & united to Christ by faith & love, shall 
be kept by the power of God, through faith unto 
salvation (1 Pet. i. 5.) so that nothing shall ever 
separate them from the love of Christ (Rom. 

We believe the resurrection of the body, & the 
re-union of the soul with it, and that both will 
be joint partakers of endless happiness or misery. 

We believe there will be a great & general 
judgment, when the whole world shall stand be- 
fore Christ, the Judge of quick & dead to give 
an account of the deeds done in the body, the 
issue of which will be that the wicked shall go 
away into everlasting punishment, but the right- 
eous into life eternal. 

We believe it is the duty of Christians united 
in particular church relation to walk together 
in love to watch over one another in the Lord, 
& to encourage each other in the performance of 
Gospel Duties, to train up their children in the 
admonition of the Lord, to maintain family reli- 


gion & government & the public and private 
worship of God. 

Sincerely subscribing to these articles as the 
doctrines of our religious faith & fellowship one 
with another & sensible that it is an awful thing 
to transact with the living God, we do now 
solemnly covenant with God, & with each other 
in the words following, viz : 

We do now in the presence of God, & this 
congregation receive & own the Lord Jehovah, 
Father, Son & Holy Ghost to be our God. 

We promise by the assistance of his grace, to 
yield ourselves at all times to be his willing & 
obedient subjects: sacredly to keep all his com- 
mands, & to walk in all the ordinances of the 
gospel blamelessly. 

We covenant, through the assistance of his 
grace to dedicate our children to him in baptism, 
to be trained up for him; to walk in his church 
as faithful subjects of his kingdom & children 
of his family; to watch over one another with all 
carefulness. Christian tenderness & jealousy & 
will submit to the gospel admonition, discipline 
& instructions of the church of Christ in this 

Sarah Brown, Susanny Pike, 

Sally Brown, Martha Morley, 


Rachel Gains, Stepn. Taintor, 

Reuben Brown, Nathaniel Peck. 

John Cooley, 

The subscribers having been duly embodied & 
formed as a regular church of Christ by our 
assistance chose Rev. Jesse Edson of Halifax as 
their Moderator. 

Gersham C. Lyman, 
Preservid Smith, 
Whitingham, J«se Edson. 

Oct. 25, 1804. 

The same day Reuben Brown was chosen Sub. 
Mod. Jesse Edson, Mod." 

As the foregoing commencement of the Con- 
gregational Church differs from another printed 
description it is no more than fair that I explain 
to my readers the authority on which I base my 
statements. Years ago I heard that the records 
of that church were in the hands of Ezra Smead, 
who then lived where Frank E. Davis, Esq., 
now does, at Elm Grove in Colrain, Mass. I 
went to see him and found he had the record, 
the original articles of faith, some confessions in 
writing, and some letters from other churches, 
&c. All these I bought and paid for, hoping that 


the town, the Congregational Church of the 
State or the Vermont Historical Society would 
be pleased to have these records for historical 
purposes. Mr. Smead said he would like to keep 
them to copy some records of his ancestors be- 
longing to that church. He also loaned the rec- 
ord to General Gaines, then hotel keeper in 
Colrain, as his ancestors also belonged to this 
church. While the record was there the hotel 
burned and this record with it, so that nothing 
can be told of its contents except that which may 
have been copied before. Ezra Smead went 
west and died there with the package containing 
the original articles of faith, and other papers 
addressed to me, which I received by due course 
of mail and have them in my possession now. 
Probably when Mr. Jillson wrote the "Centen- 
nial" address he had access to this record. He 
says this church worshipped in the old meeting 
house, but its light went out in 1 823, after a hard, 
earnest and honest struggle to benefit mankind." 
He gives the names of seven of its pastors and 
says that the members consisted of not far from 
50 persons, and names besides those who were 


first organized into the church: Rebecca Bas- 
com, Jerusha Bigelow, wife of Thomas, Sally 
Bigelow, wife of Samuel, Stephen Billings, John 
Blanchard and his wife Sally, Joseph Carley and 
his wife Sarah, Jonathan Carley, Lydia Car- 
negie wife of Andrew, Polly Cooley wife of 
John, John Fuller, Rachel Hammond, Betsey 
Haynes wife of Jonas, Abigail Hosley, Joseph 
Marsh, Sarah Martin, Mary Murdock, Polly 
Peck wife of Nathaniel, James Preston and his 
wife Elizabeth, Isaac Smead and his wife Polly, 
Rebecca Smith, Miss Susan Stickney, Clarissa 
Stone, Ruth Stone wife of William, Lydia Stone, 
Mercy Taintor, Patience Walker, Lydia Waste 
wife of Ebenezer, Eli Wood and Lydia his wife. 
Many of these names are in the letters from other 
churches referred to, together with the names of 
Rebecca Marsh wife of Joseph and Elizabeth 
Preston daughter of James. December 10, 1804, 
the town voted to join with the church in said 
town in giving the Reverend Preserved Smith 
a call to settle in said town as the minister and 
pay him three hundred dollars annually for his 
services, but it seems he did not care to continue 


his services here, and on April 1st, 1805, the town 
voted a tax of one cent on the dollar and ap- 
pointed the selectmen a committee to lay out the 
money as they "shall see fit." 

In those days it was supposed that a church 
concerned itself about religious matters, and had 
no power to attend to financial affairs, and so a 
Society was formed to look after the finances. 

November 12, 1806, the town "Voted to form 
into a society by the name of the first Congrega- 
tional Society in Whitingham" and at an ad- 
journed meeting chose Jabez Foster Clerk of said 
Society and Hezekiah Whitney Treasurer of 
said society. When this church was organized, 
many Baptists, Methodists and Universalists 
filed their certificates stating that they did not 
agree in religious opinion with a majority of the 
town, and thus saved paying the town church tax. 


"Whitingham, September 8th, 1808. A num- 
ber of brethren met according to appointment 
first took under consideration the duty we owe 
to God opened our meeting by prayer then pro- 
ceeded to consider the duty we owe to one an- 


another and the local distance from Sister 
Churches, Considering "Church privileges and 
our desire for the advancement of God's king- 
dom in the world. After those serious considera- 
tions we mutually agree to form into a church 
if thought expedient by Council proceeded to 
Choose Walter Emes to serve as Clerk and agree 
to send to four Baptist Churches of Christ to 
assist in embodying said Church (viz) first Guil- 
ford, first Colrain, Heath & Halifax. 

Whitingham, October the 18th, 1808. At an 
Eclesiastical Council Convened at the meeting 
house on the request of a number of Baptist 
Brethren in this place (viz) from the first 
church in Guilford, Elder Jeremiah Packer, 
Brethren John Noys and Joseph Olden, first Chh 
Colrain, Elder Thomas Purington, Brethren 
Hezekiah Smith & Isaac Chapen; from Heath 
Church, Elder George Witherell, brethren 
Aaron Gleason & Stephen Davenport; from 
Halifax Chh, Deacon Samuel Wood and David 
Allen and brother James Tucker; first Chose 
Elder Purington, Moderator, and Deacon 
Wood, Clerk. After Solemn prayer to God for 
Direction, brother Wilson from Somerset 
Church & brother Zenas Cary from first Col- 
rain & Deacon Asa Hackett from 2d Colerain 


Chh., being present were added to the council. 
Proceeded to Examine the articles of faith and 
Covenant, and voted to Acept them & the Breth- 
ren and Sisters that assent and Consent to the 
same are as foUers: 

Brothers Sisters 

Josiah Brown Millicent Brown 

Walter Ernes Katharine Emes 

Joseph Stone Sarah Franklin 

Jonas Brown Lois Brown 

Joseph Olden Leah Olden 

Joel B. Emes Esther Emes 

James Warren Susannah How 

Joseph Brown Dorcas Saben 

James Carpenter Lucy Tarbell 

William Franklin Olive Emes 

Esther Emes, 2d 

After an examination found them to be experi- 
enced in the religion of Christ, and baptized by 
Emertion, voted to give them fellowship in unit- 
ing together as a church of Christ in gospel 
order. Voted that Elder Thomas Purrington & 
Elder George Witherel arrange the articles of 
faith and Covenant this day adopted by them. 
Voted that Elder Purington give them the Right 
hand of fellowship as a Church of Christ; And 
Elder Packer to Charge them to Continue in 


Gospel Orders and to walk worthy of the Voca- 
tion wherewith they are called. 

Thomas Purington, Moderator. 

Samuel Wood, Clerk." 

Thus was the Baptist church organized. 

October 27, 1808, Salem Shumway, Jemima 
Shumway, Patty Houghton, Katharine Ernes 2d, 
and Anna Green were baptized into the church. 
November 18, 1808, the church met according 
to agreement, and opened with prayer. Chose 
Josiah Brown, Moderator, Walter Ernes to serve 
as clerk, Jonas Brown to serve as deacon. Read 
the articles of faith, and covenant, and received 
them mutually as ours. 


I. We believe in one God, infinite in nature, 
power, wisdom and goodness. 

II. We believe in the trinity of persons — the 
Father, Son and Holy Spirit in essenc one. 

III. We believe man was made upright, but 
hath apostatized by sin and wholly lost his moral 
rectitude and thereby become obnoxious to the 
penalty of the Divine Law and incapable of ex- 
tricating himself everlastingly — and therefore 
his salvation is alone through the Sovereign 


grace of God abounding through the obedience, 
suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

IV. We believe the salvation of the sinner 
through Christ is according to the gracious pur- 
pose of the Father which was given us in Christ 
Jesus before the World began. See II Timothy 
i. 9. 

V. We believe none are subjects of this sal- 
vation but such as are effectually called and 
sanctified by the power of the Holy Ghost, 
adopted by the Father, pardoned through the 
blood of Christ, and justified through His right- 
eousness, and that evangelical birth and repent- 
ance are the only means through which we can 
enjoy this salvation. 

VI. We believe all those who are effectually 
called will be kept by the power of God through 
faith into salvation and never finally perish. 

VII. We believe there will be a resurrection 
of the dead and a final judgment, at which the 
wicked will be sent away into everlasting punish- 

VIII. We believe that Baptism is the visi- 
ble door into the visible church, and that ordi- 
nance is to be administered to none but such as 
give evidence of their faith, and that immersion 
is the only mode. 


IX. We believe that the Lord's Supper is to 
be administered to all those who are in the visi- 
ble church of Christ, who walk in Gospel order 
to do it in remembrance of Christ until His 

X. We believe the New Testament contains 
a perfect rule of discipline. 

XI. We believe that no man has a right to 
administer the ordinances of the gospel unless 
legally authorized by the laying on of hands. 

XII. We believe it is the church's duty to ad- 
minister to their elder's support so that he give 
himself to the ministry of the word that the word 
of the Lord be not hindered. 


We do now in the presence of God submit 
ourselves to the discipline of Christ in this 
church, promising that by the assistance of His 
Grace, we will walk in all the ordinances blame- 
less; having a due regard to all His Commands, 
to keep oneselves unspotted from the world that 
we may be blameless as the sons of God. 

We do promise to watch over each other in 
love; bearing one anothers burdens and so fulfil 
the laws of Christ; to endeavor to comfort each 
other under temptations and infirmities; and to 


Strengthen the weak; to rejoice with them that 
do rejoice and mourn with them that mourn; to 
pray with and for each other in all our tribula- 
tions, and in faithfulness to watch over each 
other and endeavour in brotherly love to reclaim 
any that go out of the Way, and not suffer sin 
upon our brother. 

We promise by grace of God to pay a due re- 
gard to the Christian Sabbath and not forsake 
the assembling ourselves together on that day, 
and to endeavor to keep ourselves, or any under 
our care from unbecoming behavior or conversa- 
tion, but spend the time in the service of God; 
and whatever further light from the word of 
God is manifested to us by the spirit of truth 
we will cheerfully embrace. 

Now to these promises which we have freely, 
solemnly and severally made in the presence of 
God, we call Heaven and Earth to witness, feel- 
ing ourselves under the highest obligations by 
the command of God and our own covenant and 
promises to observe. 

Being sensible of our own weakness in insuffi- 
ciency we pray the God of all grace to enable us 
to stand in the liberty wherewith Christ hath 
made us free, that we may have on the whole ar- 
mor of God, hastening unto the coming of the 


day of God, when Christ will receive his people 
to himself, when we shall see as we are seen, and 
know as we are known. Amen. 

At a meeting legally warned and holden in 
Whitingham, on the 10th day of April, 1809, to 
see if the town will form into a Baptist society, 
&c. 2d. Made choice of Amos Brown, Esq., 
Clerk of the said Baptist Society, and voted that 
the Baptists have the use of the meeting house 
one-half the time the next year, three months 
alternately. I suppose the Congregational 
church had the meeting house the other half. 
The Baptist church and society continued sepa- 
rate until the church was chartered in 1902 and 
united. Although several ministers of different 
denominations had preached in town, no other 
churches or religious societies were formed for 
about twenty years. 

While the town had thus been looking after 
the religious interests of the people, they were 
not remiss in their rights, for at the annual meet- 
ing in March, 1782, "Voted that the Law Books 
at Capt. Hyde's be removed to the Town 
Clerk's" and "the law books be removed from 


Amos Green's to Lieut. Benjamin Blodget's." 
Thus we see the town had the possession of two 
law books. 

While these men were making a town, re- 
deeming the wilderness to farms, making roads, 
and, with the help of the women, making so- 
ciety, matters were primitive, and domestic ani- 
mals at first run at large, but as fields were culti- 
vated and crops grown it became necessary to 
put up a defence to cattle committing damage, 
and at the March meeting, 1783, it was voted 
that sheep, horses and swine shall not run at 
large from the first of May until the Middle of 

While all lived, it was not necessary to have 
cemeteries, but at the March meeting in 1784, 
Daniel Wilcox, Thomas Blodget and James 
Roberts were chosen a committee to look out 
some suitable place for a "Burying yard" in said 

At a meeting in September, 1784, voted that 
the town meetings be held at James Reed's house 
in the future. This was near Charles S. Good- 
now's big barn, so it seems they tried to have the 
meetings near the center of the town. 


Money was scarce in those days, and in 1787, 
"Voted that the Select men serve free of cost to 
the town." Probably the honor of the office was 

The town early was looking after the educa- 
tion as well as the Christian teaching of the 
young and in 1789, voted to appoint a committee 
to divide the town into school districts. 

The history of no town would be complete 
without some information about its defenders 
and the defenders of their country. From the 
best authority I have been able to gather that 
of the seventy men who lived or owned land 
here during the revolutionary struggle, fifty 
were soldiers before they came to this town. As 
there were no records which came down to us, 
kept in this town, until 1780, we can gather from 
them little information. December 17, 1781, the 
town "Voted to make allowance to those that 
done most in the present war." Who had this 
allowance, soldiers or civilians? I cannot say. 
March 28, 1782, "Voted to raise tow men for 
the ensuing campaign for eight months." "Voted 
to Rase seven men By town vote." After the war 


at the annual town meeting, March 6, 1786, 
Voted that the selectmen give orders on the 
treasurer for remainder of Isaac Rugg's and 
Henry Lee's wages due to them for services in 
the war, and for ten shillings due Lieut. Blodget. 
Probably because the war debt was so heavy, at 
that meeting it was voted that the town tax be 
paid in wheat at 4s. per bushel, rye at 3, corn 
2s./6, oats ls./6, flax 8d. per lb, sugar iSd. per lb. 
Other taxes had been paid before in produce. 
These three items are all I am able to find in the 
records, but probably there were other records, 
and probably fifty men went to war from this 
town, during the continuance of the Revolution. 
Many of the early settlers bore official titles from 
corporal to colonel. Some of these titles were 
probably earned by service in the militia ; some in 
the French and Indian wars; and some in the 
Revolution. Mr. Jillson states that "A military 
order, dated, Windsor, Sth June, 1777" signed by 
"Samuel Fletcher, Colo." is addressed "To the 
Capt. or the inhabitants of Whitingham" calls 
"for its quota of men, to march to Rutland for 
the defense of the frontier of this State, the same 


to serve two months from the day they march, 
unless sooner discharged" and says on this order 
is a memoranda giving E. Davis, Nathaniel 
Davis, Eliphalet Gustin, Robert Bratton, Jr., 
Robert Nelson, John Nelson, Jr., Benjamin Nel- 
son and William Nelson credit for services ren- 
dered under this order. I find a company of sol- 
diers in the Revolution as follows: Capt. Josiah 
Fish, Lieuts. Moses Johnson, Isaac Lyman, 
Sergts. John Moore, Abel Johnson, Stephen 
Pratt, Micah Hatch, Corporals Levi Aldrich, 
Cornelius Miller, William Crawford, Joseph 
Gilbert, Fifer Noah Hopkins, Drummer Joel 
Knight, Privates Isaac Adams, Simeon Alger, 
Benjamin Alvord, Nathaniel Austin, Thomas 
Barnes, Philip Bartlett, Abishai Blodget, John 
Boyden, Benjamin Brown, Oliver Brown, Jona- 
than Burke, Israel Chipman, Jonathan Clayton, 
Willard Converse, Nathaniel Cummings, Cal- 
vin Ewins, James P. Frazier, Solomon Gilson, 
John Green, James Grimes, Israel Hall, James 
Hanley, Joseph Hartwell, Paul Hazelton, John 
Hooker, David Howard, Daniel Howe, Nathan 
Johnson, William Knapp, Henry Lee, Horton 


Lee, Benjamin Lyman, Eleazar Lyman, William 
Martin, John Negus, James Nichols, Samuel 
Nichols, Elijah Pike, Leonard Pike, Benjamin 
Pierce, Ebenezer Piatt, Jonathan Pratt, Benja- 
min Randall, Jethro Randall, George Ray, 
Grindell Reynolds, Levi Robinson, Abraham 
Rugg, Isaac Rugg, Jersham Sawin, Samuel 
Sawin, Eli Scott, Abraham Shipman, Elihu 
Smead, John Stearns, Alex Stoughton, Joseph 
Temple, Thomas Turner, Phineas Underwood, 
James Uron, Timothy Wakefield, John Wallis, 
Abiathai Waldron, Samuel Wellman, William 
Whalen, Jonathan Whitney, Jonathan Wilcox, 
Asa Winchester, Samuel Wiswell, William 
Wyman, John Young. Of these, there lived in 
this town at some time during the revolution : — 
Lieut. Lyman, Sergts. Moore and Pratt, Privates 
Abishai Blodget, James P. Frazier, David How- 
ard, Henry Lee, Horton Lee, William Martin, 
Benjamin Lyman, Eleazar Lyman, Elijah Pike, 
Leonard Pike, Jonathan Pratt, Abraham Rugg, 
Isaac Rugg, John Wallis and Jonathan Wilcox. 
There was probably one or more Lieutenants 
from this town all the time of that war. Isaac 


Lyman became first Lieutenant, Adjutant and 
Quartermaster. This company also belonged to 
Col. Fletcher's Regiment. In Capt. Josiah Boy- 
den's company, Nathaniel Davis, Sergt. John 
Gault, and Alexander Gault were Whitingham 
names. In Joseph Tyler's company, Whiting- 
ham soldiers, Abram Rugg, named before, Corp. 
Thos. Haskell, Jonathan Pike, Jonathan Whit- 
ney, Samuel Parker, Abner Moore; Parker was 
a soldier in Massachusetts before coming to this 
town. Thomas Hunt, Thomas Stearns, Sterling 
Stearns were in Whitingham. The following 
names claimed to belong to another town lived 
here during some time of the revolution: — 
Elijah Easton, Thomas Haskell, Samuel 
Thompson and John Marks; the latter claimed 
to be in Draper, now Wilmington, in 1775, but 
served in a Massachusetts regiment and later in 
several different companies and, in 1783, claimed 
to have lived here several years. I think he was 
a surveyor and "pettifogger." 

These are all the names that have come under 
my eye, but I believe every able bodied male 
from IS to 60 years of age who was here during 


that time was a soldier and many of them were 

Professor Goodrich, in Vermont Revolution- 
ary Rolls, puts down a whole company from this 
town in 1782, but gives the name of only Lieut. 
Moor as commanding officer. I do not know if 
they were Revolutionary soldiers. 

It seems that after the Revolution there was 
then thoughts of preparedness, for the town 
voted, November 14, 1803, to raise the money 
that is necessary to purchase the military stores 
necessary to supply the town as the "Law Di- 

Voted that the place to deposit said stock of 
ammunition shall be in the upper loft of the 
meeting house in a chest to be made at the ex- 
pense of the town for that purpose. 

While no monument or lettered stone marks 
the earthly resting place of most of the early 
dead, and no record remains to tell thereof, at 
an early day many deaths occurred. April 13, 
1801, it was voted that the selectmen shall pur- 
chase a "Poll or Grave Cloth" for the use of the 
town and that the same shall be kept in the 


Town Clerk's office. May 17, 1801, the town 
voted to fence the several Burying Yards in said 
town, viz: one in the center near Mr. Caleb 
Murdock's, one in the northeast corner of said 
town near Esq. Roberts and one in the southwest 
corner near Wm. Fuller's, on condition that the 
owners of said yards will sufficiently convey the 
same to the town for the purpose of burying